Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
Israel/USA/Palestine, 2012. M7200 Productions, Channel 10, Israel Film Fund, Periscope Productions. Screenplay by Yael Shafrir, Michael Mayer. Cinematography by Ran Aviad. Produced by Michael Mayer, Lihu Roter. Music by Mark Holden, Michael Lopez. Production Design by Sharon Eagle. Costume Design by Hamada Atallah. Film Editing by Maria Gonzales. Dorian Awards 2013. Toronto International Film Festival 2012.
Nimr is a Palestinian student who has been granted entry to Tel Aviv as a university student; his future looks bright and promising, and after meeting handsome Israeli lawyer Roy things only look better. The two of them go from enjoying each other physically to developing a deep bond that turns to love, which is inconvenient when Security Police start putting pressure on Nimr to become an informant for them and his activist brother begins to suspect what he is up to. The cross-border romance thing has been done before (including, under similar circumstances, by Eytan Fox in The Bubble) but Michael Mayer’s film has much to make it all feel fresh: the superbly appealing actors have a genuine heat between them that makes their love affair very sympathetic, the dialogue is terrific and the sense of danger that develops goes beyond melodrama and is actually quite frightening. There are a few moments that threaten soap operatic hysterics, but they are few and wholly forgivable given how richly enjoyable the entire thing is.